“Weird Al” Yankovic is an American national treasure. But even national treasures get things wrong from time to time. The MTV-Era “King Of Pop Song Parody” has returned from carbon-freezing and is quickly adapting to the new-fangled Yoncé-album-dropping-YouTube world we all live in now. To promote his new album Mandatory Fun, “Weird Al” Yankovic has been dropping seriously wonderful music videos every day this week.

No one is left unscathed in Yankovic’s album–superstars like Pharrell Williams and Lady GaGa are lampooned within an inch of their life with Weird Al’s trademark spoofery.

In “Word Crimes”, Yankovic’s take on Robin Thicke’s chart-topping “Blurred Lines”, Yankovic schools us all on grammar and word usage. Watch the video below:

It’s at the half-way point when Yankovic talk-sings “there’s no X in espresso”. Here’s a screen-cap from the moment:


It’s a reminder of the 2010 Dear Coffee I Love You No X In Espresso campaign. But here’s why they’re all wrong.

Travel outside of North America, you’ll soon discover in many cases there is X in espresso! In parts unknown–like the far off distant Scandinavian island of Iceland, “expressó” is the standard spelling of the drink. In Spain, it’s common to see “expreso”. Saying there’s no “x” in espresso is like saying there’s no “u” in color.


One of Iceland’s most well-regarded coffee destinations Kaffitár spells their expressó with an x. We reached out to Kaffitár’s Kristín Þóra Jökulsdóttir, who explained that their internal resources explain the X thusly:

In Italy they write espresso, even though the word’s origin in Latin rather implies it should be written with an x, simply because Italian doesn‘t have the letter x whereas Latin did. Other languages, such as English and French use x in many words where Italian doesn‘t because these languages have the letter x (as an example express = fast). Thus we deduce, that as Icelandic has the letter x we should pronounce and write the word expressó like that, with an x.
Expresso on the menu. (via Nordic Coffee Culture)
Expresso on the menu. (via Nordic Coffee Culture)

Jökulsdóttir refers to the earliest printed documentation of “expressó” available, an advertisement from 1958:

"Everyone needs to try Vík's espresso, the espresso is invigorating, the espresso is good, the espresso is always fresh. ask for an espresso! Drink an espresso and you will feel good!" (via timarit.is)
“Everyone needs to try Vík’s espresso, the espresso is invigorating, the espresso is good, the espresso is always fresh. ask for an espresso! Drink espresso and you will feel good!” (via timarit.is)

We reached out to “Weird Al” Yankovic but our calls have not been returned.